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Who's paying for $27K misunderstanding?
4 inch error, who pays.jpg
Alyssa Boles photo Progress continues on McMinnville Civic Center’s renovation and expansion. Completion date is on or before Oct. 15.

It remains undetermined who will pay for a 4-inch mistake in McMinnville Civic Center’s expansion.

According to information presented to the city’s Civic Center Ad Hoc Committee, the east addition was constructed 4 inches too close to the existing building. While it should have been constructed 16 inches away to avoid the existing building’ soffit, it was constructed 12 inches away and Sain Construction Company had to cut into the soffits.

To correct the distance issue, Sain Construction project manager Mike Brewer submitted change order No. 47 for $27,408 to the committee and members sent the measure to the McMinnville Board of Mayor and Aldermen for consideration, as well as determination on who should pay: the city or HFR Design, the project’s architect.

Board members heard from HFR Design’s project manager. 

“Change order request 47 is really the third change order request as it pertains to the discrepancy,” said Kris Teubel. “There’s a discrepancy between the existing drawings and the actual as-built conditions of the building. Per the information they provided us, that I have faith in and no reason to doubt, there seems to be a 4 and ¾ inch discrepancy between the building as it was drawn and the actual as-built condition of the building … of the soffits, specifically. The discrepancy has prompted the need to adjust the connection between the east building and the existing building, due to the soffit being further out than originally anticipated.”

The drawings were presented to HFR by the city and those drawings were used in designing the building’s expansions. 

“Because the drawings did not match the actual as-built conditions that leads to the change order request No. 47 to remove the soffit, as needed, in specific locations to allow the columns to stand plumb where they are drawn to be installed,” said Teubel. 

Alderman Everett Brock said, “I assume that makes us responsible in the long run. We provided bad drawings.” 

“I would say that you may need to verify something before you make that decision,” said city administrator Nolan Ming. “I don’t think this is black and white. Something should be field verified before you …”

Brock stated, “By whom?”

“By the designer,” said Ming. “The architect. Granted our drawings did show something that was incorrect, but I would hope that they would field verify as well.”

Ming recommended the change order be approved as a construction change directive.

“There is no disputing the fact the building is built differently than the original drawing,” said Alderman Steve Harvey. “It’s just whether the architect should have realized that or not.”

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen authorized a change directive and the $27,408 be paid out of the project’s contingency fund. However, members also added the city would negotiate that payment with HFR at the end of the project.